Elections

With friends like these, the DA certainly doesn’t need enemies

Over 30 years ago when I first arrived in parliament, an old ward heeler who knew his way around there advised newcomer MPs: “The first law of politics is to be present.” Spare a thought then for Refiloe Nts’ekhe. She had been presented in the election as the DA mayoral candidate for Ekurheleni. But at [...]

Fasten your seatbelts, SA. It’s going to be a bumpy post-ANC ride

Alongside the fading light of Eskom, the refulgent blaze of the ANC’s electoral comet shines far less brightly since last Monday. That, at least, is the one takeaway from the outcome of the local polls of 2021. In ancient Rome, the Etruscans were highly regarded for their ability for reading “auspices”, like blazing comets, and discerning [...]

Cyril’s credit may prove on Monday to have been flushed away

Back in 1970, in the whites-only general election, the United Party (UP) campaigned with a poster: “Want TV? Vote UP!” My progressive teenage set ridiculed the official opposition for such a marginal message, given the miseries of apartheid. However, in that poll, for the first time in six elections, the UP actually gained seats off [...]

SA won’t prosper while it bends its knee to Cliff-hanging cancel culture

With the decision of Cricket SA to force all Protea players to “take the knee” and Quinton de Kock’s stance not to bend, the issues of free speech and the right of individual dissent now spillover from the Twittersphere to the playing fields. But the issues at the heart of this have a long history, [...]

By |2021-10-27T06:41:02+00:00October 27th, 2021|Elections, John Steenhuisen, Opinion|0 Comments

It’s a pity the DA posters have overshadowed the real election issues

“You cannot fatten a pig on market day.” This adage from British politics resonates here and now in the dismal run-up to polling day on November 1. The implication is that unless you have a track record of delivery, or even basic decency established well ahead of voting day, you are unlikely to reap the [...]

ANC and DA keep expecting milch cows to deliver for largesse

A milch cow is defined by the Collins English dictionary as “a source of easy income”. In SA, governments at the national and local levels find that source in middle-class taxpayers and ratepayers — usually the same people. But now the milch cow is variously exhausted, overburdened or fleeing to foreign fields. In addition to the [...]

Political promises are the pits, and the ANC’s usually end up down the toilet

There were symbols aplenty, and some ghosts from glories past, at the ANC local government manifesto launch on Monday evening. In ancient Rome, “augury” was the practice of interpreting omens from the observed behaviour of birds. Two days ago in Tshwane there was no shortage of auguries in the ruling party bash. First was the [...]

By |2021-09-29T09:23:55+00:00September 29th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Elections|0 Comments

It’s a sad indictment on the ANC that it couldn’t get a quorum for its own bill

Last Thursday, as my column, “Do the ANC’s small disasters signal the large collapse?", for our sister publication Business Day was in the works, I had no idea an event in parliament would provide another example of my thesis. In the Business Day column, I catalogued the serial chapters of ineptitude and crass negligence, from unpaid staff and tax [...]

By |2021-09-15T09:14:20+00:00September 15th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Elections, Opinion|0 Comments

Do the ANC’s small disasters signal the large collapse?

Schadenfreude — taking pleasure in the misery of another — is not regarded as a civic or social virtue. Still, it was difficult for SA’s long-suffering citizens — long reconciled to the ineptitude and crassness of the governing ANC — to suppress some delight knowing many of the sins our political overlords have visited on [...]

Be worried, ANC. You’ve failed on jabs and jobs and the local polls loom

Local elections anywhere can often lead to false readings of the national picture. Such an error here in the local government polls in 2016 prefigured the national decline of the DA three years later in the general election in 2019. Many will remember how — against all expectation and for what passes as “informed commentary” [...]

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